Marketing Mangers: Make Up Your Own Job Title

This post was written by John White on Thu, 17 May 2012 12:03:00 +0000
Posted Under: marketing as conversation,marketing manager

What’s in a marketing manager’s job title? Did you invent your title? Which title would you pick, if you could?

Make up your own job titleFrom PR Web comes a thought-provoking post, “Newest Member of Marketing Team Tasked with Creating Her Own Job Title.” Marketing new-hire Meg Strobel monitors DiamondNexus’ social media presence and creates new content for the company’s channels. She was hired without a title, and has yet to arrive at one, which became a problem when she had to order business cards.

Current candidates for her title include: Social Media Strategist, Web Communications Architect, or Facebooker Extraordinaire. “I’m kind of leaning towards Web Communications Architect, because how cool would it be to actually be an architect?”

How cool indeed?

The not-so-new hire reached out to the director of marketing, Kyle Blades, for help. Blades, unavailable for comment, reportedly told Strobel, “I don’t know. It’s really not that important – just make it up.”

I don’t agree that it’s not important, but making it up could be a very good idea.

The marketing manager’s title

After all, “marketing manager” is rather long in the tooth as a title, isn’t it? Is it your title? Are you still happy with it? Consider a few others:

  • Content manager – Yes, you probably do manage content, but so does a content management system (CMS). Your website and blog involve content management, but you actively work at creating the content, not just at organizing it. It’s too close to Technical Publications.
  • Community manager – This title is becoming much more current, even in enterprises, and it describes the important function of keeping your online plates spinning. But it smacks of herding cats and handing out the new toys to keep them interested, rather than building those toys.
  • Content wrangler – You do wrangle content from its source to its target, don’t you? It’s a pretty accurate title, but it’s taken.
  • Conversation manager – At its heart, marketing is the process of starting and maintaining conversations. That’s what all the fuss is about, and it’s what really leads to sales. I wish “conversation manager” didn’t sound so much like a euphemism, because it would help people better understand the role of marketing.

One marketing manager for a technology company told me how difficult it is to explain the role and value of marketing in an  engineering-heavy organization: “They think we throw parties.”

That’s why your job title is so important. It needs to be concrete enough for others (even co-workers) to understand, yet with a hint of the figurative.

So, I wish Ms. Strobel luck in coming up with her title. The article suggests she’s willing to crowdsource the process:

Strobel welcomes further suggestions from the general public. She can be reached via facebook.com/diamondnexus.

But as of this posting, the communication that she’s architecting there focuses more on the product than on her title.

That’s a better conversation.

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a marketing communications writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Marketing Communications Writer.”

photo credit: Katherina London

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